Air conditioning units as a part of your home’s central air system are an investment – so you might wonder if that large appliance sitting outside your house needs a cover. Will rain, wind, or even sun ruin it? The bottom line is that they are built to stand up to the elements.
Who’ll Stop the Rain?
What about the sensitive components in the unit that could be harmed by moisture? They are protected and sealed off so that the elements can’t reach then. Continued rain won’t bother them, and usually can even withstand temporary flooding a few inches deep.
When should you worry? If the flooding around the unit is a foot or more deep, that could present a threat to the electrical workings. In this case, you should cut off all power to your HVAC system using the breaker and schedule inspection and service for as soon as possible once flood waters abate.
Ever experience high winds and have branches or other debris fly across your yard? If you see dents in the exterior of the unit, it most likely is just cosmetic damage. A licensed technician can inspect to be sure that any problematic bends in coils and fins are repaired so the system will work at the highest efficiency.
If you’re still convinced you need a cover, be careful that you use the right materials that won’t damage the unit. Many system manufacturers and some aftermarket HVAC parts companies design covers specifically for their models. These will be made especially to avoid pitfalls of DIY covers, primarily inhibited airflow. Plywood or plastic can block vents or trap heat, while tarps could lead to permanent damage by trapping moisture in the unit, leading to corrosion and mold growth. Using a DIY cover could void your equipment warranty.
Clear and Present Danger
The most likely event that could actually harm your HVAC system is a power surge coming through the electrical grid. During an electrical storm, it’s possible that a surge of electricity could fry some of the crucial internal components of your system.
How do you protect against this? Using a surge strip isn’t an option as the air conditioner’s electrical needs are too big for those. You can, however, keep it safe by installing a whole-home surge protection system. Ask a trusted licensed electrician to help you compare options for this.
Here For You
Remember that you can trust your air conditioner to be fine no matter the weather around it. Those outdoor units are built to withstand a lot. Should you have any trouble though, the experts here at Nelson Comfort of Cincinnati are here to help.